A group of enthusiasts gathered by TPO Foundation in 2018 has made its first steps in acquiring the P4C (Philosophy for Children) approaches and methods of learning and teaching. The desire to broaden knowledge and skills has taken the first group of SAPERE B&H trainers on a P4C journey, which will hopefully last until the P4C methods of critical thinking and enquiry become an integral part of the education system in B&H.

Associate Professor Dr Zilka Spahić Šiljak

is a professor of gender studies. Her areas of interest are gender topics, religion, human rights, politics and peacebuilding, with many years of experience in the governmental and non-governmental sector and the academic community. She has worked at the prestigious American universities of Harvard and Stanford for over ten years, and today she teaches at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zenica and is a guest professor at the University of Roehampton in London. She is a program director of TPO Foundation in Sarajevo.

The teaching experience at American universities inspired me to convey Philosophy for Children (P4C) to the B&H education system because 21st-century schools should educate a person who can think critically and ethically about themselves and the world around them.

Melika Šahinović

has a master’s degree in international and public relations and has worked in the non-governmental sector for many years, advocating for equal rights and opportunities for education, personal and professional development and youth leadership, protection and promotion of human and children’s rights and economic empowerment of women. She currently works as a program coordinator at TPO Foundation.

The development of P4C, understanding of others and the acquisition of ethical norms offered by the SAPERE B&H programme are priorities that we should all work on, especially in schools, to contribute to building young generations who fully understand and acquire critical thinking as a condition for personal, professional and social progress.

Sead S. Fetahagić

is an independent researcher and translator, currently employed by the NGO Nansen Dialogue Center Sarajevo. He holds a law degree and a master’s degree from the interdisciplinary program of European studies at the University of Sarajevo. He spent a semester at Arizona State University (USA) as a visiting researcher in the field of religious studies. He worked as a translator and legal advisor for international organizations in B&H, and as an academic tutor in the master’s program in religious studies at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Sarajevo.

I think that these methods of critical enquiry offered by the SAPERE B&H programme are very useful, and I would say very necessary in our society, considering the lack of tradition of critical thinking and the general lack of questioning skills. During this SAPERE B&H training, I significantly improved my communication skills, teamwork, as well as my philosophical questioning skills.

Sedžida Hadžić

has a master’s degree in social sciences. She is currently employed at the Third Gymnasium in Sarajevo. Since 1996, she has been the coordinator of the Education Center for Democracy and Human Rights of B&H (CIVITAS B&H) for Sarajevo Canton. She is the co-organizer and the first president of the Women’s Trade Union League in B&H (2000/2001). She worked as a professor of philosophy, sociology, logic, aesthetics, civic education – democracy and human rights, the culture of religion in high schools and the director of the production company Marletti – children’s and youth program. She got professional trainings in the USA, Great Britain, Hungary, Croatia and B&H.

I organized an experimental session of critical enquiry with my students according to the SAPERE B&H programme and they, when the school bell rang, insisted on staying during the big break and I think this is the best indicator of the quality of this programme. Once they feel the “pulse of questioning”, students constantly demand the organization of classes according to the SAPERE B&H programme.

Mubina Muftić

finished the Gazi Husrev-beg Madrasa in Sarajevo in 2010. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degree in the English language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, and in 2013 she won the UNSA Gold Badge. She has been working as an English teacher since 2016.

Philosophy for children is an opportunity for every child, for every young person, to understand and realize their abilities in a unique way.

Aida Spahić

lives and works in Sarajevo. She is professionally engaged in interpretation and translation. She is a member and associate of many non-governmental organizations. She is also one of the founders of the Association of Language and Culture Linguists. She graduated in English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo and Gender Studies at CIPS. She is currently studying for a PhD at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo. She is a feminist, anti-militarist and activist.

I want to promote the P4C methods primarily in preschool and primary education.

Dragana Koprivica

graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, Department of English and Oriental Philology. She works as an English teacher at the Franciscan Classical Gymnasium in Visoko.

P4C is an approach to learning and teaching that offers participants, in addition to developing communication skills, learning to respect and value both themselves and other participants in the community of enquiry. Philosophical enquiry is intended for every person who wants to perfect and improve dialogical questioning, which has been applied in the world for 50 years thanks to Professor Lipman. The philosophical enquiry develops in participants a sense of social empathy, respect for a different point of views, as well as critical thinking. SAPERE aude !!! (lat.) which means DARE to KNOW, DARE to be WISE, DARE to THINK.

Elmana Cerić

M.Sc. of Philosophical Sciences, is a professor of Philosophy with Logic and Theory of Cognition. She works at the Second Gymnasium in Sarajevo, and her areas of interest are philosophy, art, cultural anthropology, philosophy of education.

I consider SAPERE B&H education as a necessary content in the professional development of every teacher in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Considering the fact that this methodology is based on nurturing four forms of thinking: critical, creative, caring and collaborative, it is clear that it hits at the very core of the problems of our education. This methodology, in a systematic and detailed way, offers teachers the necessary tools to encourage  their students to think critically and creatively. I regularly implement the P4C methodology in my classes and I can say that the reaction of students is extremely positive, because it is a complete change of the educational paradigm, both in learning and teaching.

Mirza Džananović

holds a PhD in Historical Sciences. He was born in Zenica, where he works at the Department of Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy, the University of Zenica as an assistant professor, where he teaches several courses in the field of Cultural History, Cultural Heritage and Culture of Memory.

According to the SAPERE B&H programme P4C (philosophy for children) methods are important because of the possibility of applying them with students through workshops at universities to strengthen critical thinking as an important prerequisite for further development of professional competencies.

Muhammed Gluhić

has been living and working in Zenica as a teacher of Islamic religious studies (Professor of Islamic Religious Studies) for more than twenty years. He also earned a Master of Social Sciences in Religious Studies from the University of Sarajevo. He has participated in numerous conferences and seminars on education and religious education.

The SAPERE BiH programme has provided specific methods on how to develop critical thinking in students, which, I am sure, will help transform today’s education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina into the system we strive for.

Remzija Hurić-Bećirović

has a PhD in Islamic sciences and she is a professor of religious studies and culture of religions at the First Bosniak Gymnasium in Sarajevo, Cambridge International School. Her areas of interest are pedagogy, human rights and responsibilities, religious education, foreign languages, tennis.

The SAPERE BiH programme is especially important for the younger generations, but also for all others who want to think outside the given, usual framework, who try to look at every situation, either positive or negative from several angles, without prejudices and pre-prepared, often wrong opinions and attitudes in order to think and make more progressive conclusions and solutions.

Elma Softić – Kaunitz

graduated in philosophy and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, and has a master’s degree in social sciences in the field of religious studies at the University of Sarajevo. She works as the Secretary General of the Jewish Community in Sarajevo and the Jewish Cultural-Educational and Humanitarian Society “La Benevolencia”.

The Philosophy for Children (P4C) programme enables students – both preschool and primary, and secondary school and university students – to acquire critical thinking, asking and questioning skills, developing their ability to listen and concentrate as well as speaking, reasoning and arguing their views, encouraging them to be creative, to collaborate with others and to respect the right of others to their own opinion.